Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Higher Education (DHE) jointly offer this scholarship to help early educators increase their qualifications through a college degree.

Office of Student Financial Assistance (DHE)

Department of Early Education and Care

The Details   of Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

Overview   for Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

The Early Childhood Educator Scholarship is financial assistance towards a college degree if you are currently working in a center-based, Family Child Care, after/out-of-school time or residential & placement program that is licensed or funded by EEC.  

You must be working at least 20 hours per week and enroll (or plan to enroll) as a matriculated student in a certificate or degree program at an approved institution of higher education in Massachusetts.  Supported certificates and degrees include Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Child Development, Family Studies, Child and Family Studies, Human Services, Psychology, Child Psychology, Child Care Administration, and Social Work.  

Sign up for an upcoming information session to learn more. 

How does the ECE Scholarship work?

Your ECE Scholarship award is used towards credits at the eligible college of your choice.  You can choose to request funding for 3, 6, or 9 credits (1, 2, or 3 classes) per semester.  You have to apply separately to the college you wish to attend.  The application process for the college and for the scholarship are separate.  You must do both.   The resources on this webpage will help you with your application for the ECE Scholarship. 

How to apply   Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Wait for your FAFSA data to be processed.  This usually take 48-72 hours.  You will receive an email inviting you to create your MASSAid account when your FAFSA data has been processed.
  3. Create a student portal account in MASSAid.
  4. Complete the ECE Scholarship application.  This document provides instructions for each section of the application.
    1. You must have an active Professional Quality Registry (PQR) number to apply for the scholarship. If you already have a PQR number and need assistance retrieving this number, please contact EEC's help desk at (617) 988-2450. 
    2. You must have the Provider Number
  5. Allow time for your ECE Scholarship application to be approved.
  6. OPTIONAL: Confirm with your college that you are listed as an ECE Scholarship recipient. 

Preparing to apply   for Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

  1. Eligibility

    Make sure you meet ALL eligibility requirements as listed below

    • Physically reside in Massachusetts for at least one year, as of the start of the enrolled term, with an intent to remain in Massachusetts consistent with Board of Higher Education policy; and 
    • Have approved eligibility status as a “High School Completer,” per the Massachusetts tuition equity law, or be a U.S. Citizen, permanent legal resident, or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations. 
    • Have applied for financial aid, using the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a FAFSA equivalent application authorized by the Department of Higher Education. 
    • Not be in default of any federal or state Student Loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
    • “Enroll, as a matriculated student, in an undergraduate degree program, full or part-time, in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Family Studies, Child Care Administration or fields that directly name early child development and its specific areas of inquiry. Eligible graduate programs include these same categories as well as Early Childhood Research, Policy and Practice; Education Entrepreneurship; and Learning Sciences.”
    • Be employed, for at least six months, as an educator or provider in an early education and care program or out of school time program that is licensed or authorized by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and continue employment in this field while pursuing the approved course of study.
    • Sign an agreement to continue employment as an early childhood educator or provider in Massachusetts upon completing the degree requirement, or repay funds as defined.
    • Students must either be pursuing their first bachelor’s degree or pursuing a master’s degree in an approved program, as defined. 
  2. Eligible Schools

    Choose a school from the list of eligible institutions below.

    • American International College
    • Anna Maria College
    • Assumption College
    • Bay Path University
    • Becker College
    • Berkshire Community College
    • Boston College
    • Boston University
    • Brandeis University
    • Bridgewater State University
    • Bristol Community College
    • Bunker Hill Community College
    • Cambridge College
    • Cape Cod Community College
    • Clark University
    • Curry College
    • Dean College
    • Elms College
    • Emmanuel College
    • Endicott College
    • Fisher College
    • Fitchburg State University
    • Framingham State University
    • Gordon College
    • Greenfield Community College
    • Hellenic College
    • Holyoke Community College
    • Lasell College
    • Lesley University
    • Massachusetts Bay Community College
    • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
    • Massasoit Community College
    • Merrimack College
    • Middlesex Community College
    • Mount Holyoke College
    • Mount Wachusett Community College
    • Northeastern University
    • Northern Essex Community College
    • North Shore Community College
    • Pine Manor College
    • Quincy College
    • Quinsigamond Community College
    • Regis College
    • Roxbury Community College
    • Salem State University
    • Simmons College
    • Smith College
    • Springfield College
    • Springfield Technical Community College
    • Stonehill College
    • Tufts University
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
    • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
    • University of Massachusetts Lowell
    • Urban College of Boston 
    • Westfield State University
    • Wheaton College
    • Worcester State University 
  3. Eligible Majors

    Choose an approved major from the list below. 

    • Child and Family Studies
    • Psychology
    • Child Care Administration  
    • Elementary Education
    • Child Development
    • Special Education
    • Child Guidance
    • Social Work
    • Child Psychology
    • Family Studies
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Human Services
    • Human Services (eligible when it includes Early Childhood as the concentration)  

More info   for Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

Additional information about the ECE Scholarship can be found on the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website. The OSFA website has the most current information on award amounts, eligibility requirements, and additional updates to the scholarship program.

Downloads   for Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

Contact   for Apply for the Early Childhood Educators (ECE) scholarship

75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148
(617) 391-6085

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